44 HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION
and sought to make her empire permanent by planting Greek
towns and cities in every part of the conquered territories. The
city of Alexandria, founded in the delta of the Nile by Alexander
himself, in 332 B.C., with settlers from all parts of the known
world living under Greek institutions, was the most brilliant of
a great number of cities, from which radiated an expansive
Hellenism as resistless as the Macedonian phalanx, and prepared
the way for the unity of civilization.
So sound was Alexander's policy that his early death in 323 B.C.
made no appreciable difference in the development of things,
His empire, it is true, fell to pieces almost immediately, but the
process of Hellenization which he had begun went on steadily in
the following century under the Macedonian rulers, who became
the rulers of its several parts. Even the victorious progress of
the Romans in the Second Century, which reduced Greece to a
Roman province in 146 B.C. and ultimately made Rome the
mistress of a greater empire than Alexander's, instead of impeding
the advance of Hellenism, only opened up a new sphere of in-
fluence for it. It was literally true, in the often quoted words
of Horace, that " captive Greece took captive her rude conqueror
and brought the arts to Latiurn," and through Latium she
dominated the whole world.
But the Hellenism of the Roman world was profoundly
different in many respects from that of the Greek cities in which
it had its origin. In becoming the spiritual basis of Mediterranean
life in the centuries immediately before and after Christ, Greek
culture came into intimate relations with the independent cultures
of the Persians, the Jews, the Egyptians and the Romans, and
was forced to come to some kind of terms with them all. The
result of the combination of the different national ideals was the
emergence of a common culture with many local varieties, which
though in the main Hellenic in character, derived something
distinctive from all its constituent elements.
The development of education during the period under survey
has the same general features as the wider syncretic movement
of which it forms part. There was not much novelty about its
practice, and none about its theory. The one new institution was
what is sometimes called the Greek "university/* with its
centres ,of inspiration in Athens and Alexandria. But even
though there was little originality in other forms of education.